Financial Assistance for Ph.D. Students

Prof. Dan Blair at the National Science & Engineering Festival

Graduate Stipends

The Graduate School promises 5 years of full financial support for full-time Ph.D students who maintain satisfactory academic progress. Students in the 1st 2 years of the physics program are typically supported by Teaching Assistantships from the Graduate School. Beyond the 2nd year, students are usually supported through Research Assistantships with funds provided by a combination of fellowships, faculty research grants, and departmental funds. Students on the ILP track may also receive apprenticeship grants. The stipend for the academic year is set each year by the Graduate School. This stipend is paid bi-weekly from September through April.

For the 2021-22 academic year, the stipend is $33,150.

From May through August, the physics department provides full-time Ph.D. students a summer stipend. This stipend is paid biweekly. The summer stipend type and amount depends on how far along the student is in the program.

The summer stipend is significantly less than the stipend during the academic year, so students should plan accordingly.

  • The summer following the first academic year, students receive a non-service fellowship in the amount of $5,500. During that first summer, all students are expected to prepare for the Comprehensive Exam and engage in research. Students on the ILP track should also take the required ILP-related summer courses.
  • In subsequent summers, students receive a service stipend. The stipend amount is $5,500 for those who have not yet passed the qualifying exam. The stipend increases to $6,500 after a student passes the qualifying exam.

Teaching Assistantships

Teaching experience is a valuable asset to any career: it strengthens practical understanding, inspires confidence and formulates planning skills. We offer teaching assistantships for undergraduate courses and lab sections in our students’ 1st 2 years. Its value is so pronounced that students with their own financial support are even encouraged to participate.

Research Assistantships

Students are effectively paid to perform research. They begin research assistantships with a faculty mentor in their 2nd or 3rd year. Research assistants receive a stipend, a full tuition waiver, and health-insurance coverage during their assistantship. Often, students in the ILP track will continue to perform research in collaboration with the company that sponsored their apprenticeship.

Summer Support

The Physics Department supports its students during their 1st summer in the program while they prepare and take the comprehensive exam. First years will also complete a lab rotation during this first summer. Students receive financial support in subsequent summers as part of their research group funding.